PURPOSE: Catheter-related bladder discomfort occurs in up to 63% of patients following robot-assisted radical prostatectomy. The optimal intraoperative anesthesia regime to prevent patients from catheter-related bladder discomfort is unknown.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A prospective cohort analysis was conducted. Patients with biopsy-proven prostate cancer selected for robot-assisted radical prostatectomy were included between January 2017 and April 2020 from a high volume prostate cancer center. Eight different treatment regimens were compared, ie a combination of general anesthesia and a transversus abdominis plane block with either an additional dose of clonidine or an additional dose of ketamine, or perivesical infiltrations (with 20 ml ropivacaine), or periurethral infiltrations (with ropivacaine); or a dorsal penile nerve block (with 20 ml ropivacaine). Multiple logistic regression and linear mixed models were used to analyze differences in catheter-related bladder discomfort and pain (0-10) at the postoperative recovery unit between the treatment protocols.
RESULTS: Of the 391 patients included, those with a combination transversus abdominis plane block, perivesical and periurethral block with ropivacaine had the lowest incidence of catheter-related bladder discomfort, clinically relevant and statistically significantly lower compared to our baseline protocol (transversus abdominis plane block only), ie 36% vs 70%, p=0.001. Overall, patients who were treated with periurethral and/or perivesical infiltrations reported a statistically significantly lower incidence of catheter-related bladder discomfort compared to patients who did not receive this local infiltration (46.5% vs 60.7%, p=0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Perivesical and periurethral injections with ropivacaine have the potential to reduce the incidence of early postoperative catheter-related bladder discomfort by up to 49%. Further randomized studies are necessary to determine the optimal treatment regime to prevent early postoperative catheter-related bladder discomfort.